Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The downfall of independence

Wanna know what I did all day? I put a desk together. A huge, heavy desk. My desk for my office, actually. A beautiful desk that I shouldn't complain about. Shouldn't being the key.
You know, I'm ok with the fact that this thing had more pieces than a typical mutt has fleas, but honestly, I hope I never have to get a new desk again. I hate the thing. Actually, I just hate that I had to put it together by myself and that it was so heavy I'm physically exhausted. My knight-in-shining-armor brother came over and helped me finish up the drawers and then put my desk chair together in about five minutes flat. Don't get me wrong-- I appreciate it, but it drives me crazy that he didn't even have to look at any directions. He knew what cam locks were and how they worked. I grunted and groaned and threw a fit and cried and collapsed trying to get the top on the side pieces-- getting all the dowels and cam screws to align, all whilst holding a piece that came in its own two-people-to-lift box was a nightmare. I'm stooped over-- can't straighted my back all the way-- but I need to go home and clean house.
Here's the frustrating part. I'm actually quite proud that I (mostly) put the thing together by myself. But sometimes you just get sick of doing it all alone. I mean, I'm grateful that I'm capable, but an extra hand would mean the world. When you're hanging a picture or a super-heavy mirror, it helps to have someone hold it up while you use the level. My Christmas lights are still up on my house mostly because to take them down alone will probably take me five times as long as if I had someone there to help me. I go to the movies alone and I eat alone. I cook for one. I canceled a dream vacation because there's no one to go with me. I want to scream. And it's not that I'm feeling sorry for myself (ok, yes I am) so much as I hate being limited. My mom kept telling me to just leave it alone for a day, but I'm not a quitter. I almost wished that blasted desk fell on me and broke my face or something. I would have powered through it. That's what I do. But that's why I'm exhausted.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Day to you from a Happy Girl

Ah, Valentine's Day. Happy, Happy Day. I surely hope my other single pals (and quite obviously, my attached pals) have a wonderful day... though, let's be honest... it's much like any other. It's just that I worry about the chums who are worried about not having plans tonight and are wearing all black and making angry eyes. Take it from me-- if I can be super happy having just been trampled between the horses of love and lust, you can too!
This is one of those days to wake up feeling extra alive. Of course, my waking up was facilitated by one of my co-workers calling me about two hours before I even had to work this morning, but that's ok. I still feel marvelous. It's the last nice day before a big snow storm, so I want to make the most of it. I revelled in the fact that as a single woman, living in my OWN house, I have every right to listen to the Beatles' "Please Please Me" on repeat for an hour and a half, broken up only by going into my dining room straight out of the shower to pound on my piano. And I also discovered on my way home last night why bands play in garages. I know this must be quite obvious, but hello great accoustics! Today is a day to belt it out.
Wanna know what I'm doing tonight? Pretty much what I'd be doing on any other Thursday evening-- I'm going to the gym. And it will be luxurious, because for two hours I'll be doing something that really only benefits me. And then maybe I'll go buy "Becoming Jane" because it's out on DVD and I think it's a great movie. I'll be proud of having accomplished a lot at work and I'll plan my weekend, which I expect will hold a lot of excitement. And you know what? It's not a big deal that I probably won't get any big, romantic declarations. I'm still content reliving last weekend and planning another rendezvous. Life's good. I love you.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Does Opportunity ever just come through the revolving door?

I talked to my bestie the other night-- the one and only Sokphal. She's a busy woman and we hardly get time for a chat anymore, but she did say something that got me thinking.... I'd mentioned I was going to spend some time with this guy I used to hang out with quite a bit. Mostly in passing. But she said, "Rachel, your love life is like a revolving door." Not in judgment, just an observation (I think).
I guess that's true for a lot of reasons. Mostly because, generally speaking, I date my friends-- that is to say that if I'm going to bother going out with someone, it's going to be someone I already know I like on the friend level. And just because things don't work out does not mean that I'm going to kick them to the curb and throw the baby out with the bathwater, and any other number of applicable cliches. I'm just saying that once you're in my life, you tend to stick there for better or worse.
So in some ways it's comforting-- knowing you've got someone to go back to for support. And sometimes it's scary and dangerous. It was very recently that I found myself boldly putting the same man in and out of rotation, trying to figure out if I could file him away in one friend category or the other, angry that he doesn't fit into one of my typical molds. What do you do with someone who says they love you but they are just simply incapable of acting like it? Call them a liar and kick them in the face? Feel sorry for them? Forget about them? Take their phone number out of your cell? Pretend it didn't happen? I'll tell you one thing-- I'm learning it's a lot riskier actually confronting those issues (especially when the outcome is completely unsatisfactory) than making some grand gesture to an oblivious would-be love. It's harder to talk to someone two blocks away than it is to move 650 miles to get someone to notice you.
But still, that door keeps moving. I've recently seen some new faces walk through and they've made life better, fun, and interesting, even if they (and I to them) only served the purpose of a timely, necessary distraction. And those old faces still bring me comfort and joy. It's not that euphoric running-through-a-meadow-filled-with-lilacs, spring-time, everything-smells-like-Hello-Kitty-and-childhood high, and it's specifically not the stomach-flipping excitement of realizing that you smell like the one you love just because spending time in his apartment makes everything smell like rain and Disneyland either. But it feels like warm sheets out of the dryer and eating great pineapple even though you don't live anywhere close to Hawaii. It's comforting and surprising and luxurious, and those blessings and feelings save my sanity and preserve my hope.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Right here, right now

Here are a few things running through my mind--
1) The thing making me the happiest right now is a result of a friend's phone call the other night. We were catching up on one another's lives, and he said, "Rachel, I'm glad to see you're still taking the road less traveled." It was great. Mostly because this guy has always been an outstanding example to me-- he's leading an extraordinary life. Every time I think about how our chance meeting in college changed my life forever-- in the huge ways-- I'm grateful.
2) I'm not so grateful to Jessica Alba and Tommy Lee Jones. There's an article in today's Albuquerque Journal detailing how the actors disliked Albuquerque. Well, excuse me! We don't like you either, Jessica! Tommy Lee, hmph-- everyone knows you're an old humbug anyway. Jessica said that we only have one good restaurant in the city (I'd love to know which one she liked) and T.L. thought Albuquerque was too noisy. Whatever. Actually, while I'm on the subject, why is Jessica Alba such a big deal anyway? Tabloids and celeb-magazines always like to paint her as this prim-and-proper lady, but I think she's kind of trashy. Oh no. Now I'm Perez Hilton or TMZ. Don't mean to hate on them, but actors are often so self-absorbed, it never ceases to amaze me (speaking more from experience with actors and actresses through work, not always because of media messaging, with this rant being the particular exception).
3) Also in the Albuquerque Journal today, an article about how a lady killed her baby by microwaving it. Isn't that awful? For the record, it happened a while ago, and it happened in Dayton, Ohio. Wonder what kind of restaurants they have there, Jessica?
Well, life is busy. I worked 13 hours Wednesday, and 16 yesterday. No joke. I expect to fall over from exhaustion at any moment, but I feel more prepared to do so now that I've stood up for the city I love and sung the praises of one of my most cherished friends. Maybe later I'll drive up to Albuquerque and take a nap somewhere, just because I find it peaceful and quiet.